Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Kristina Knight, and her recipe for Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, The Saint’s Devilish Deal. Please join me in welcoming Kristina and savor her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup as you read about her new book!
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
The smell of food cooking all afternoon is soothing. Call me crazy, but it does! This recipe has the benefit of not only smelling great all afternoon, it’s also something the whole family will enjoy – in one simple dish!
½ cup butter or margarine
2 cups milk
Family sized can of chicken broth
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped up (I usually make this dish after baking chicken for another night, cuts the prep time. If you’re cooking from scratch, bake the chicken for 30 minutes until done and then chop)
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes (Mild, Medium, HOT, your choice), drained
8 oz Velveeta cheese cubed or shredded
4-5 oz Mexican blend or Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1 tsp. cumin 2 tsp. chili powder (3-4 tsp if you like really spicy)
Salt/Pepper – to taste
5-6 tortillas, cut into 2″ strips
Spray the crockpot sides with cooking spray and turn it on low if you have all day, if you only have a couple of hours, medium or high). Toss all the ingredients except the Colby-Jack cheese and tortilla strips in and close the lid. Stir every half hour. About 15 minutes before dinner time, deep-fry the tortilla strips until they are a golden brown; each batch of the strips should take only 15 seconds or so, but they burn easily so small batches are better than tossing them all into the deep-fryer. If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a large frying pan. Cover the bottom of the pan in canola oil, heat and fry. Again, only about 15 seconds. Drain the strips so they aren’t greasy.
Spoon a ladle of soup into a bowl, add a handful of the shredded cheese and then another ladle of soup. Place several tortilla strips on top (this is to your taste, add a lot or a little, your choice). Serve.
**Note: I like my tortilla strips to get a little soggy, so I put the tortilla strips in the middle with the shredded cheese. My husband likes his strips crisp so he leaves them on top. Your choice**
A billionaire surfer… A down-on-her-luck hotelier… One hot summer fling…
Esmerelda Quinn has one shot at saving her aunt’s beloved vacation villa – and the only home she has ever known. Putting up with ex-surfer Santiago Cruz’s antics? He’s burned her before but she can handle The Saint, this time around.
Santiago Cruz wants out of Puerto Vallarta in a bad way but after hearing the stipulations that could cost Esme her beloved villa, he can’t leave. And as long as she’s willing to play by his rules, they might just have some fun along the way…
As long as he plays by her rules, Esmerelda knows she can salvage the estate – and keep her heart intact. The only problem? The Saint’s charms are hard to resist…and soon she finds herself falling for the rich boy down the hall – all over again.
“You forget yourself, Esmerelda. You’re talking about making this simple for the staff, that doesn’t mean I need to come to you for every new guest registration or idea I have. Besides, we need this campaign.” Santiago waved his hand. “We need more guests of a certain means to make the villa stand out. Families are great, but they won’t make Casa Constance a go-to destination. These people will. So, we use our new guests as features in a new campaign for the high-end travel magazines. A few shots in the tabloids wouldn’t hurt, either.”
“You weren’t even going to discuss this with me?”
“I’m telling you now. While we’re on the subject—” he tossed a few magazines from his desktop onto her lap “—what do you see in these pictures?”
Esme sent him a killing glance and then flipped through the pages. “Boring. Bland. Not home.”
“Exactly. This isn’t a home, or it shouldn’t be a home first. If you want Casa Constance to succeed you need to treat it like a business. So, make-over, what do you like?”
She tossed the magazines back onto the desktop. “Our guests love the color and textures of Old Mexico. They say so all the time.”
“Your guests haven’t been in residence, at least not actively, in more than a year. We aren’t appealing to anyone right now and we need to. So, makeover starts this afternoon and your new training begins in the morning.”
“I know what I need to know about running a vacation resort.”
“You need to experience a vacation to sell it. We need day-trips, we need amenities. I’ll bet you’ve never gone para-sailing or sky diving, much less enjoyed a couple’s massage.” Her cheeks pinked at the last suggestion and Santiago smiled. “Celebrities visiting Casa, playing on our private beach, being featured in an advertising campaign—with a few pictures leaked to the tabloids to get the word out even sooner. Casa needs this.”
Esme took a few breaths and then settled back into her chair. “I can’t afford to pay the salary of a New York advertising crew. Seriously, Santiago, you have to cancel.”
“My three months, remember? It won’t cost you a thing. The photographer owes me a favor. The only cost will be the campaign copy, which will be negligible. I do know what I’m doing, Esmerelda.”
“Okay, mail.” Esme shook her head as if clearing thoughts of the upcoming ad campaign from her head. “Marquez usually separates bills from letters—”
“As the mail will be delivered to the front desk, I’m happy to see to it. And let’s cut to the chase.” He leaned back in the chair and clasped his hands behind his head. “I don’t want to be tied down to a vacation villa for the rest of my life. But if you really want this, there is something you have to do for me. First.”
Esme swallowed, crossed and re-crossed her legs before clasping her hands in her lap. “What do you want? A payoff? You’ve seen the books, you know there isn’t much money. But if it’s money you want, I’ll agree to your price. I just need time to come up with the capital.”
She really didn’t know him at all. He shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. Surprised and a bit disappointed. “I need your money like I need another surfing championship,” he said, sitting up straight. “No, what I want from you is a bit more. . . ephemeral. I want your time. For three hours each day, you belong to me. No villa work. No guest handholding.” He walked around the desk to rest his hip against one corner. “No conferences with staff. No following the maids on their routine cleanings and no visits to the kitchen to give Gloriana instructions. For three hours each day, your time is my time.”
“You can’t be serious. That. . . that’s just. . .” She trailed off when his index finger traced the line of her jaw. He lowered his voice.
“No work. No phones. No villa. You do what I say, what I want.”
Buy the Book:
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and daughter. Happily ever after.
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!